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2019 Easter Cake

I made this cake for our Easter supper and served it alongside THIS Citrus Sorbet. Since baking is not my forte, of course, there is a mishap story to go along with it. I found the recipe is a real estate magazine that my mother-in-law sent me from Illinois. Thank you, Mom!

I switched it up a bit. The original recipe was for a Tangerine and Chamomile Cake, using chamomile tea bags. I am not a fan of chamomile, so instead, I used my absolute favorite tea, Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea. If you love chamomile tea and want to switch it back to the original, use four chamomile tea bags instead of the two Bengal Spice that I use here.

My sweet girl, Bailey, is in the foreground, and my mischievous boy, Bombay, is in the back

Here’s the mishap story. On the Saturday before Easter, I had several Harmony Boards to make and deliver. The first deliveries began at 2:30 and the last was at 5:00. I made all the boards and delivered the first batch. I came home and realized I had just enough time to put together the cake batter, get it in the pans and bake them. My timing was impeccable. The layers were finished baking 5 minutes before I needed to pack up and leave. I knew better than to leave them to cool on the kitchen counter because of these two cats.

I set up the cooling racks on top of my washing machine.

I set the cakes on top and Bombay was immediately interested. I went back to my bedroom to set the alarm. I closed the laundry room door and went out into the garage. That’s when I realized I’d left the car keys on the kitchen counter. I knew I had enough time to go back in and grab the keys before the alarm was fully set. I went in and had a brief moment of panic when I didn’t immediately see the keys. I found them and hurriedly went back out the garage door.

It wasn’t until I came back home that I saw that not only had I forgotten to close the laundry room door, but that one of the cats had tried to jump up on the washing machine and in the process, knocked down one of the racks. I didn’t look to see what damage was done until after I’d gone to the bedroom to disarm the alarm. I came back and saw the rack on the floor by their food dishes. Where was the cake? I looked behind the laundry door and there it was, out of the pan, upside down, while the pan was further back in the corner behind the door. The good news is that the cake was completely intact with the parchment still stuck to the bottom, not a crack or a crumb missing. The pan was as clean as a whistle, and that is a win in my baking history! I picked up the cake, sliced a clean layer off the top, and used it.

I knew the cat or most likely “The Cat”, had not touched it after it fell. He was probably too startled from the crashing he’d caused. And I am certain it was “the he”, Bombay, and not “the she”, Bailey. I say this because Bailey was sleeping in her usual spot when I went looking for them, while Bombay was hiding in the front room, where he seldom, if ever, goes. But it is nearly impossible for me to be mad. I mean, look at that face! OK, enough about my cute cats. Recipe time.

Tangerine and Bengal Spice Cake


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea bags
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • Zest from 2 tangerines
  • 1/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
  • 6 cups powdered sugar

Assemble and Garnish

  • 1 cup tangerine or orange marmalade
  • Chamomile flowers
  • Tangerine slices

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper rounds.

Cake: Heat the milk for 1 to 2 minutes in a microwave oven. Steep the tea bags in the hot milk for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the tea bags and discard them.

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Then add in the eggs, vanilla extract, and the tea-infused milk and combine until smooth.

Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans and tap down on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Place pans on racks and let cool completely.

Remove the cakes from the pans, and slice the tops, if needed, to make them even and level. Slice the rounds each in half, for a total of four layers.

Frosting: Cream together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the tangerine juice and zest, then mix in the powdered sugar, two cups at a time, and blend until smooth.

Spread 1/3 cup of the marmalade on the bottom three layers of the cake, leaving the top layer marmalade-free. Place the bottom layer on a serving plate and frost the top. Repeat with the remaining three layers.

To create the semi-naked look of this cake, use a minimal amount of frosting on the sides. I loaded up a flat icing spatula and only used the amount shown in the photo for the entire side of the cake.

Garnish your semi-naked cake, as shown, with the tangerine slices and chamomile flowers.

Serves 8 to 10

Note: We often use chamomile flowers on the Harmony Boards because they are so delicate, pretty, and easy to grow. But, trust me, although they are 100% edible, they taste awful!

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1 Sloane Hansen { 04.23.19 at 6:23 AM }

it was so pretty!

2 Lina Austin { 04.23.19 at 6:41 AM }

You make everyone feel OK about our own mistakes by being so endearingly honest about life in your household!

3 Betsy Storey { 04.23.19 at 7:07 AM }

Oh naughty kitty. But so glad all was ok. Cake looks so pretty and sounds yummy

4 Debbie Elder { 04.23.19 at 7:09 AM }

The cake is rustic and very pretty. It looks like you put it together in no time (although I know that would not be true) and I’m sure it was delicious.

5 Lisa { 04.23.19 at 7:30 AM }

Pretty!! And I know you love that tea!

6 Anne { 04.23.19 at 7:56 AM }

Those pics of the cats are just adorable… Bombay is epitome of a curious cat! Cake looks delicious, I love Bengal Spice tea as well, so that’s what I would use too! Thanks for sharing, hope you had a wonderful Easter??

7 Ronnie { 04.23.19 at 12:45 PM }

Love! Do you grow chamomile?

8 Linda Hopkins { 04.23.19 at 6:29 PM }

Hi Ronnie, yes I do grow chamomile, I bought the plants at Summerwinds nursery on Tatum. I’ll add a photo of the plants, in my garden, at the end of tomorrow’s post.

9 Shelley J { 04.26.19 at 10:18 AM }

The two cats are sooo cute! I’m pretty sure it is the He too. Why else he would be hiding lol.

10 Shirley { 04.30.19 at 8:39 AM }

The cake is beautiful and I have that same tea!

11 Betsy Storey { 04.30.19 at 9:51 AM }

Linda I am cheap too but fortunately I have the same payment the whole year ( I am guessing you haven’t been in your new house long enough) and I have been able to get it quite low but keep working on lowering it- going to try you cooling method (maybe get our my parka for AM :))

12 Marilyn Harter { 05.01.19 at 6:17 PM }

This cake is gorgeous for someone who doesn’t enjoy baking!! And delicious too?!

13 Sara { 01.27.20 at 8:51 AM }

Is the Bengal Spice a strong flavor in this cake? I love the tea and I want to try this!

14 Linda Hopkins { 01.27.20 at 11:56 AM }

Hi Sara, I could definitely taste the tea, the Bengal spice flavor, in the cake but to be honest I’d probably add another teabag to make it a little stronger because I love that tea so darn much.

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